'Rocking chair' book to help SMEs

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Growth strategist Craig Alexander Rattray is marking 30 years in business with a book designed to help entrepreneurs on their journey to success.Two years in the making, “Lessons From The Rocking Chair” was inspired by his weekly addresses to his LinkedIn network from his home in Glasgow where he shares business knowledge from his garden deck.

Growth strategist Craig Alexander Rattray is marking 30 years in business with a book designed to help entrepreneurs on their journey to success.

Two years in the making, “Lessons From The Rocking Chair” was inspired by his weekly addresses to his LinkedIn network from his home in Glasgow where he shares business knowledge from his garden deck.

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Rattray, who is often referred to as the ‘Martin Lewis for SMEs’ due to his willingness to give back to the sector – he runs a free online Know Your Numbers Training Academy – has compiled 167 pages of reflection on the diverse and dynamic nature of entrepreneurship, from the strategic intricacies of economic planning to the personal resilience required to navigate business challenges.

Craig Alexander Rattray.Craig Alexander Rattray.
Craig Alexander Rattray.

The messages are all designed to help business owners come to terms with the many and varied issues of running a successful company.

There are 12 core chapters to the book focusing on key themes, each a vital piece of the entrepreneurial puzzle and every section has self-reflection questions to guide readers on their journey.

The wide-ranging topics, encapsulated in the mnemonic “ENTREPRENEUR,” offer insights into Economic Strategy, Networking, Tenacity, Resilience, Education, Profitability, Rejuvenation, Ethics, Navigation, Empowerment, Understanding and Resourcefulness.

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“My image of a rocking chair is some old person rocking back and forward spouting wisdom and knowledge as they have been around for a long time,” said Mr Rattray, who runs CR Corporate Solutions.

“That’s where the idea originated and while I don’t consider myself old or wise, I started to give insights and learnings from my week, covering certain themes, as well as what my clients had been experiencing. I wanted to do something a little different so regardless of the weather, I would head outside and record my theme for the week.

“The rocking chair videos have been well received with lots of good feedback so I wanted to pull all the nuggets of advice and information together.”

Rattray qualified as a ‘big six’ Chartered Accountant in 1994 and has a wealth of experience delivering effective growth strategies. A former venture capitalist and corporate financier, he has advised numerous ambitious growing companies in his role as a finance director.

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Thirty years on from starting out on his own career path, he’s pleased to be able to mark the milestone by passing on some valuable insights to help others.

“I’m delighted to be able to pass on some of my business learnings in this way, 30 years after embarking on my own journey,” he said. “Business is personal. It is about people. I like to approach business and life in general based on love, trust and helping people, and giving people the benefit of the doubt.

“The purpose of this book is to help business owners on this journey as I know that owning a business is not easy. Readers will discover not just the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship but also the personal growth and learning that come with this journey.

“Running your own business is very difficult, it can be a very lonely place and I want this book to give people the reassurance that they are not alone. Part of this is about educating people and I’ve tried to take it away from purely the financial side of things and touch on the challenges of running a business while living your life, bringing up family, etc.

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“Whether it's about building networks, managing finances, or upholding ethical standards, the journey of an entrepreneur is rich with learning and growth. Entrepreneurship is not just a business venture; it's a personal voyage of discovery, growth, and fulfilment.”

Published on Friday, “Lessons From The Rocking Chair” is available on Amazon in paperback, hardback and on Kindle https://amzn.to/4b1IG5W.

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